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GORDON, BUTLER (at first behind the Scenes). But this I say ; he'll find his own destruction
BUTLER (not yet come into view of the stage). With his whole force before these ramparts, sooner
Here stand in silence ull I give the signal. Than weary down the valor of our spirit.
GORDON (starts up). He shall experience what a band of heroes, 'Tis he, he has already brought the murderers Inspirited by an heroic leader,
BUTLER. Is able to perform. And if indeed
The lights are out. All lies in profound sleep. It be thy serious wish to make amend
GORDON. For that which thou hast done amiss,-this, this
What shall I do? Shall I attempt to save him? Will touch and reconcile the Emperor Who gladly turns his heart to thoughts of mercy,
Shall I call up the house ? Alarm the guards? And Friedland, who returns repentant to him,
BUTLER (appears, but scarcely on the stage). Will stand yet higher in his Emperor's favor,
A light gleams hither from the corridor. Than e'er he stood when he had never fallen. It leads directly to the Duke's bed-chamber.
GORDON. WALLENSTEIN (contemplates him with surprise, remains
But then I break my oath to the Emperor; silent awhile, betraying strong emotion).
If he escape and strengthen the enemy, Gordon-your zeal and fervor lead you far.
Do I not hereby call down upon my head
All the dread consequences ?
BUTLER (slepping forward).
Hark! Who speaks there! Had I foreknown what now has taken place, That he, my dearest friend, would fall for me,
"Tis better, I resign it to the hands
Of Providence. For what am I, that I
Should take upon myself so great a deed ?
I have not murder'd him, if he be murder'd; It may be, I might have bethought myself. It may be too, I might not. Might or might not,
But all his rescue were my act and deed ; Is now an idle question. All too seriously
Mine—and whatever be the consequences, Has it begun, to end in nothing, Gordon!
I must sustain them. Let it then have its course.
BUTLER (advances). [Stepping to the window.
I should know that voice. All dark and silent-at the Castle too
"Tis Gordon. What do you want here !
"Tis wounded My reconcilement with the Emperor.
That Illo fought as he were frantic, till Poor man! he hath a small estate in Cærnthen,
At last we threw him on the ground. And fears it will be forfeited because
GORDON (shuddering). He's in my service. Am I then so poor,
Both dead! That I no longer can indemnify
BUTLER. My servants? Well! to no one I employ
Is he in bed ? Means of compulsion. If 'tis thy belief
GORDON. That Fortune has fled from me, go! forsake me.
Ah, Butler! This night for the last time mayst thou unrobe me,
BUTLER And then go over to thy Emperor.
Is he? Speak Gordon, good night! I think to make a long
GORDON Sleep of it: for the struggle and the turmoil He shall not perish! Not through you! The Heaves Of this last day or two was great. May't please you! Refuses your arm. See—'tis wounded Take care that they awake me not too early.
BUTLER [Erit WALLENSTEIN, the GROOM OF THE CHAMBER There is no need of my arm. lighting him. SENI follows, GORDON remains
GORDON. on the darkened stage, following the DUKE
The most guilty with his eye, till he disappears at the farther Have perish'd, and enough is given to justice. end of the gallery: then by his gestures the old [The GROOM OF THE CHAMBER Odrances from man expresses the depth of his anguish, and
the gallery with his finger on kis mouth, com stands leaning against a pillar.
COUNTESS TERTSKY (with a light).
Her bed-chamber is empty; she herself
Is nowhere to be found! The Neubrunn too,
Who watch'd by her, is missing. If she should
Be flown—But whither flown? We must call up Grant him but this night's respite.
Every soul in the house. How will the Duke
Bear up against these worst bad tidings ? O
The next moment If that my husband now were but return'd May min all.
Home from the banquet !-Hark! I wonder whether
The Duke is still awake! I thought I heard
Voices and tread of feet here! I will go
And listen at the door. Hark! what is that?
|'T is hastening up the steps! Can that short respite profit him?
GORDON (rushes in out of breath). Only one hour! Your heart may change its purpose,
'Tis a mistake! His heart may change its purpose-some new tidings "Tis not the Swedes-Ye must proceed no furtherMay come ; some fortunate event, decisive,
Butler !-0 God! where is he?
GORDON (observing the COUNTESS).
Countess! Say — You but remind me, How precious every minute is!
You are come then from the castle? Where's my (He stamps on the floor. husband?
GORDON (in an agony of affright).
Your husband - Ask not!—To the Duke
You have discover'd to me-
On this moment Fint over my dead body thou shalt tread.
Does the world hang. For God's sake! to the Duke. I will not live to see the accursed deed!
While we are speakingBUTLER (forcing him out of the way).
[Calling loudly. Weak-hearted dotard !
Butler! Butler! God!
Why, he is at the castle with my husband.
[BUTLER comes from the Gallery. The Swedes before the ramparts! Let us hasten! GORDON (rushes out).
'Twas a mistake— 'Tis not the Swedes-it is O, God of Mercy!
The Imperialist’s Lieutenant-General
Has sent me hither-will be here himself
Instantly.—You must not proceed.
Too late. [Gordon dashes himself against the wall. Friend, it is time now to make larum.
O God of mercy!
What too late ?
Who will be here himself ? Octavio
In Egra ? Treason! Treason !- Where's the Duke ? GROOM OF THE CHAMBER (run through the body by
(She rushes to the Gallery. Devereux, falls at the entrance of the gallery).
Jesus Maria !
SCENE VIII. Burst the doors open. [They rush over the body into the gallery two (Servants run across the Stage full of terror. The whole doors are heard to crash one after the other
Scene must be spoken entirely without pauses). Voices deadened by the distance Clash of
SENI (from the Gallery). arms—then all at once a profound silence. O bloody frightful deed!
Your hand is pure. You have
Avail'd yourself of mine. O piteous sight!
Thus to abuse the orders of thy Lord-
And stain thy Emperor's holy name with murder,
With bloody, most accursed assassination!
[The COUNTESS stands motionless. FEMALE SERVANT (rushing across the stage).
O curse of kings, Help! Help! the Duchess !
Infusing a dread life into their words,
And linking to the sudden transient thought
The unchangeable irrevocable deed.
Was there necessity for such an eager
Dispatch ? Couldst thou not grant the merciful
. Your house is cursed to all eternity.
To leave no interval between the sentence,
And the fulfilment of it, doth beseem
God only, the immutable !
Rail you against me? What is my offence !
The Empire from a fearful enemy
That way! the lower Have I deliver’d, and expect reward.
The single difference betwixt you and me
Is this: you placed the arrow in the bow;
I pull’d the string. You sow'd blood, and yet stand [At these words the Countess starts from her stupor, Astonish'd that blood is come up. I always collects herself, and retires suddenly.
Knew what I did, and therefore no result
Hath power to frighten or surprise my spirit. Keep back the people! Guard the door!
Have you aught else to order for this instant
My bleeding sword before my Emperor's Throne,
And hope to gain the applause which undelaying To these enters Octavio Piccolomini with all his From a just judge,
And punctual obedience may demand
To these enter the COUNTESS TERTSKY, pale and disOCTAVIO (entering abruptly).
ordered. Her utterance is slow and feeble
, and u* It must not be! It is not possible!
impassioned Butler! Gordon! I'll not believe it. Say, No!
OCTAVIO (meeting her). [GORDON, without answering, points with his hand to
O Countess Tertsky! These are the results the Body of WalLENSTEIN as it is carried over
Of luckless unblest deeds. the back of the Stage. OCTAVIO looks that way,
COUNTESS. and stands overpowered with horror. DEVEREUX (to BUTLER).
of your contrivances. The duke is dead, Here is the golden fleece-the Duke's sword
My husband too is dead, the Duchess struggles
. Is it your order
This house of splendor, and of princely glory, BUTLER ( pointing to OCTAVIO).
Doth now stand desolated : the affrighted servant
Rush forth through all its doors. I am the last Here stands he who now Hath the sole power to issue orders.
Therein ; I shut it up, and here deliver [DEVEREUX and MacDonald retire with marks of obeisance. One drops away after the other,
OCTAVIO (with a deep anguish). till only BUTLER, OCTAVIO, and GORDON
O Countess! my house too
Who next is to be murder'd? Who is next
The Emperor's vengeance may be pacified!
Spare the old servants ; let not their fidelity Of this foul deed.
Be imputed to the faithful as a crime
They are the fruits
The evil destiny surprised my brother
More worthily of me, than to believe Too suddenly: he could not think on them. I would survive the downfall of
We did not hold ourselves too mean to grasp Speak not of vengeance! Speak not of maltreatment! After a monarch's crown—the crown did Fate The Emperor is appeased; the heavy fault
Deny, but not the feeling and the spirit Hath heavily been expiated—nothing
That to the crown belong! We deem a Descended from the father to the daughter,
Courageous death more worthy of our free station Escept his glory and his services.
Than a dishonor' life. I have taken poison.
Help! Help! Support her!
Nay, it is too late.
[Exit COUNTESS. Do I yield up myself. Where shall the body Of the Duke have its place of final rest? In the Chartreuse, which he himself did found
O house of death and horrors ! Al Gitschin, rest the Countess Wallenstein;
(An Officer enters, and brings a letter with the And by her side, to whom he was indebted For his first fortunes, gratefully he wish'd
GORDON (sleps forward and meets him).
What is this?
(He reads the address, and delivers the letter to Is now proprietor of all our Castles.
Octavio with a look of reproach, and with This sure may well be granted us—one sepulchre
an emphasis on the word. Beside the sepulchres of our forefathers !
To the Prince Piccolomini.
[OCTAVIO, with his whole frame expressive of sudCountess, you tremble, you turn pale!
den anguish, raises his eyes to heaven. COUNTESS (reassembles all her powers, and speaks with energy and dignity).
(The Curtain drops.) You think
The Fall of Robespierre;
AN HISTORIC DRAMA.
THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE.
TO H. MARTIN, ESQ.
SCENE, The Tuilleries.
. The tempest gathers—be it mine to seek astrous lustre on his name. In the execution of the A friendly shelter, ere it bursts upon him. work, as intricacy of plot could not have been at
But where? and how? I fear the Tyrant's soul
Sudden in action, fertile in resource, lempied without a gross violation of recent facts, it has been my sole aim to imitate the impassioned and
And rising awful 'mid impending ruins; highly figurative language of the French Orators,
In splendor gloomy, as the midnight meteor, and to develop the characters of the chief actors on When last in secret conference we met,
That fearless thwarts the elemental war. vast stage of horrors.
He scowl'd upon me with suspicious rage,
Making his eye the inmate of my bosom.
I know he scorns me—and I feel, I hate him
Yet there is in him that which makes me tremble ! Jesus COLLEGE, September 22, 1794.
Enter TALLIEN and LEGENDRE.
And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien?
Th’Adonis Tallien? banquet-hunting Tallien ? TALLIEN.
Him, whose heart flutters at the dice-box? Him, It was Barrere, Legendre! didst thou mark him?
Who ever on the harlots' downy pillow Abrupt he turn'd, yet linger'd as he went,
Resigns his head impure to severish slumbers! And towards us cast a look of doubtful meaning.
I cannot fear him-yet we must not scorn him. I mark'd him well. I met his eye last glance;
Was it not Antony that conquer'd Brutus, It menaced not so proudly as of yore.
Th' Adonis, banquet-hunting Antony? Methought he would have spoke—but that he dared The state is not yet purified : and though not
The stream runs clear, yet at the bottom lies Such agitation darken'd on his brow.
The thick black sediment of all the factions
It needs no magic hand to stir it up! "T was all-distrusting guilt that kept from bursting
COUTHON. Th'imprison'd secret struggling in the face:
O we did wrong to spare them-fatal error! E'en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards
Why lived Legendre, when that Danton died? Hurries the thunder-cloud, that poised awhile
And Collot d'Herbois dangerous in crimes? Hung in mid air, red with its mutinous burthen.
I've fear'd him, since his iron heart endured LEGENDRE.
To make of Lyons one vast human shambles, Perfidious Traitor still afraid to bask
Compared with which the sun-scorch'd wilderness In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent
Of Zara were a smiling paradise.
Rightly thou judgest, Couthon! He is one,
Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar
Of elements. The howl of maniac uproar To all attach'd, by turns deserting all,
Lulls to sad sleep the memory of himself. Cunning and dark-a necessary villain!
A calm is fatal to him—then he feels
The dire upboilings of the storm within him. TALLIEN. Yet much depends upon him—well you know
A tiger mad with inward wounds.—I dread With plausible harangue 't is his to paint
The fierce and restless turbulence of guilt. Defeat like victory—and blind the mob With truth-mix'd falsehood. They, led on by him, Is not the commune ours? The stern tribunal! And wild of head to work their own destruction, Dumas? and Vivier? Fleuriot ? and Louvet ? Support with uproar what he plans in darkness. And Henriot? We'll denounce a hundred, nor
Shall they behold to-morrow's sun roll westward. O what a precious name is Liberty
ROBESPIERRE JUNIOR. To scare or cheat the simple into slaves !
Nay-I am sick of blood; my aching heart Yes—we must gain him over: by dark hints Reviews the long, long train of hideous horrors We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears, That still have gloom'd the rise of the republic. Till the cold coward blaze a patriot.
I should have died before Toulon, when war O Danton! murder'd friend ! assist my counsels, Became the patriot! Hover around me on sad memory's wings,
ROBESPIERRE. And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart.
Most unworthy wish! Tallien! if but to-morrow's fateful sun
He, whose heart sickens at the blood of traitors, Beholds the Tyrant living—we are dead!
Would be himself a traitor, were he not
A coward ! 'Tis congenial souls alone
Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate.
O thou art brave, my brother! and thine eye LEGENDRE
Full firmly shines amid the groaning battleFear not-or rather fear th'alternative,
Yet in thine heart the woman-form of pity And seek for courage e'en in cowardice.
Asserts too large a share, an ill-timed guest! But see--hither he comes—let us away!
There is unsoundness in the state-To-morrow His brother with him, and the bloody Couthon, Shall see it cleansed by wholesome massacre! And high of haughty spirit, young St-Just.
[Exeunt. Beware! already do the sections murmurEnter ROBESPIERRE, COUTiON, ST-Just, and “O the great glorious patriot, RobespierreROBESPIERRE JUNIOR.
The tyrant guardian of the country's freedom."
"Twere folly sure to work great deeds by halves!
Much I suspect the darksome fickle heart And did I conquer Roland's spotless virtues ?
Of cold Barrere !
I see the villain in him! What! did th'assassin's dagger aim its point
ROBESPIERRE JUNIOR. Vain, as a dream of murder, at my bosorn ?
If he-if all forsake thee-what remains ?